Chat room changes

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Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 11th, 2015, 12:01 pm

1. You are forced to have a username that's three or more characters long! Try to have ' ' as a username and see what you get! :D
2. IP banning works now. You get redirected to a thread here if you get banned.
3. Moderators get 'Moderator' for their IP address. And now the IP address is just a * link to Google so it takes up less space.

Got any chat suggestions? Now's the time to post them!
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Motta The Hutt » March 11th, 2015, 12:13 pm

I have the same suggestions as in the chat room thread. Reduce the max value you can use for size code, and some sort of automated flood protection.

edit: Also, as it stands now, impersonators could go to town on the chat. No one is going to check the asterix next to everybody's name to constantly confirm their identity. A username registration system is pretty much going to be required if this is the way the chat is going to stay looking.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Vryheid » March 11th, 2015, 6:31 pm

Whatever happened to discussing switching over to another software? No amount of minor tweaks is going to stop imping and the lack of basic features like private messaging that have made sites like Skype more appealing to a lot of our former regulars. I want us to stand out from all the bland IRC-esque gaming channels out there, so we could easily recruit people from places like Showdown and Reddit and wherever else. Money isn't an issue, and time really shouldn't be an issue since they aren't that hard to install, so I'm thinking this is either an attempt to appeal to tradition or just a personal preference you have with the old software. If you are determined to keep this software, you'll need to make a lot of improvements before we can ever hope to stop being just a decaying relic of the relatively burgeoning community we had some 3-4 years ago.

Some things I'm confident every single chat member would want include:

1. Fixing the HMTL linking code so it properly detects most websites. If a website uses "https" instead of "http", for example, the chat does not turn it into a link. Some websites with the "www" clipped off also don't get detected either. Just take a more modern link detection script- like even the one used right here on the forums- and paste it into the chat if possible.

2. Flood protection. Don't let people post more than once every three seconds or something. And just posting the same message over and over should result in a temp ban (if possible).

3. Imping protection. Let people register usernames (or reserve usernames currently being used on the forum) to prevent other people from mimicking their username. Also, only allow numbers and letters in the username box to prevent people from using the size code or HTML character entity references to break coded restrictions on what usernames are allowed.

4. Stop making IPs public, this is a breach of common sense privacy standards and particularly unfortunate considering this place is heavily populated by teenagers

5. Private messaging/ignore commands if possible

6. A lot more usable emoticons and a public list where said emoticon codes can be found

7. Change the name of the other two chat rooms- Sim Battle and Smash Bros- to something people actually care about, perhaps General Discussion and Roleplay if nothing else

8. Add more mods than just D-21, that's a nice start but some general around the clock coverage would be nice

9. Bring back a user blog dedicated to the chats, like how we had Moo moo farm in the old days

10. Block the use of dark text colors which are unreadable without having to highlight over the text. I know this sounds a bit tricky and it likely isn't going to be perfect, but there are two solutions I see as feasible- either include a certain range of allowed colors from a palette like this or use this code involving Luma coefficients to determine if a color is "too black" or not.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Yoshi[NX] » March 12th, 2015, 11:46 am

As someone who remembers when IP nuking was a thing, I heartily agree with number 4.
I'm not sure the forum has a link detection feature, I've always just used the url tag.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 18th, 2015, 11:47 am

4. IP addresses are now gone, though mods got access to a log file showing the posts with IP addresses.
6. It now shows the codes to post to get the smilies.
7. Changed to Video Game Chat and Off Topic.
8. Got two mods right now.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Yoshi[NX] » March 18th, 2015, 7:35 pm

i'm not sure if it's possible, but a timestamp would be great. it's hard to tell if a chat is dead or just went silent for a second. it also flashes white every few seconds now, but that's probably the update.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Vryheid » March 18th, 2015, 9:15 pm

These are some good changes to start off with. An unfortunate side effect of losing IPs is that we've lost pretty much our only defense against someone trying to imitate us- without IPs distinguishing us we pretty much have no way of proving whether or not someone is legitimately us or not. I don't know if there's an easy way to do this- registering usernames would be a nice end goal but if that's not possible, perhaps scrambling our IPs with some sort of hash and then posting that so we at least have a unique identifier would be an option that still preserves privacy.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 18th, 2015, 9:38 pm

Right after it has the form for posting it has the time of the last post. I'm trying to not have too much text show up for every post!

I think registration *might* be possible. Then once I got it working, I'll try to edit it it so you have to register to the forums to log-in to the chats. This way there would be only one registration system, and I could probably add Private Messaging to the chats.

This would of course also get rid of imitating people.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 20th, 2015, 12:33 pm

3. Almost got the registration working. Just got to get the script working in the chat directory and not the root directory, so banning can still work. Registering to the forums will then be required to chat.

5. Private messaging can then easily be added, I'll just add a link/PM image to the chat messages for people to PM chatters through the forums, and I might add a little frame that reloads that can notify chatters of new PMs.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Vryheid » March 20th, 2015, 6:15 pm

Would there be a way for private messaging to be done directly in the chat? Sort of like how you can "whisper" users in IRC? Would be nice if you could just do something with the format "/w user blabla message" and have it pop up for them
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 20th, 2015, 9:09 pm

Not even close. Remember, the chat script is from 2001, not to mention it's a *very* simple script!! Using the forums username/ID is the only way to add anything like that, unless some perl expert came along, or we used a totally different script! And every time there's a small change...some people are really good at freaking out, hence trying to stay with this script!!!
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby D-21 » March 20th, 2015, 9:32 pm

I've stayed relatively quiet on this (at least publicly), because I'm not good with code, and I'm more of a person who likes taking peoples ideas and laying them out to see what works best etc etc.

While we've been having a lot of changes lately, and everyone knows that change is scary, it is good to work out what does well or not. This is a time of rebuilding and rebranding of sorts, I'm big into keeping what feels like home in this place, but also doing what is logical for the future of this site could be. I've never been a big fan of PM's on smaller chats, I feel like it just takes away from the point of the chat (like everyone would just talk through pms and not the chat), especially now that we have so many different social media (and skype etc) places to talk privately if needed. And having PM's go through the forums, when the majority of the "regulars" to the chat either don't frequent here or, well want to, it seems pointless.

Now, depending on what the near/far future of this is how we take the next few steps. If we're expecting small growth for a few months or so, then we continue moderate changes and testing of different ways of doing things while keeping the same base feel. On the other hand, if there is a thought of this site becoming popular with a lot of traffic through the forums and chats, then we're going to have to make bigger changes in a smaller amount of time. Changes that would end up moving us out of the beloved chat we've known for the past...14 years! With more modern features etc.

I've told Jesse my concerns about this whole registration through the forums to just chat on the chats, and that it seems like it could dwindle the activity, seeing as what I've known of it...we get a lot of one off chatters who just pop in once or twice and make a decision there. I feel that, that may limit the small hits, now if we're branding through social media and are expecting more "serious" members it's not much of a problem.

I know I'm missing some things that I wanted to say, but I'm sure they will come up later. I'm really excited and hopeful for the future and would love to see this community grow to the point it once was, were we always had new members around, but also had a stable "oldie" group that kept the peace and you could depend on.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 24th, 2015, 11:49 pm

chat/off_topic/chat.shtml

has both the PM system and registration to test out. It uses the forum registration, so members only have to register once to use both the chat and forums, and so it can have the PM option.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Vryheid » March 25th, 2015, 7:11 pm

I like the look and automatic login of it. My main concern is that you can force the site to display another username by modifying the HTML values of the submit form to whatever you want. You may have to check that our security credentials match up the same way the forum does.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » March 25th, 2015, 9:19 pm

An easy fix to that is giving the browser a no-cache command, and making the script check the refer source of the form.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Jesse Smith » April 9th, 2015, 9:26 am

All three chat rooms now use the forums for the username, with the PM option. (I'm still trying to get the Chat Rooms to show up on Who's Online. Currently it makes you look like you're at the boards.)
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Amber » April 10th, 2015, 4:37 pm

Thank you for fixing the chat.

It actually works on my phone now.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Sigma » April 15th, 2015, 7:55 pm

Kindof been wondering if making a login to the chats mandatory is a death sentence to them. I think a big appeal to most of the chat users was you could just go there & chat right away. Guess it's kindof a risky tradeoff for better control over the chats though. Goodluck & hope it works out :D .
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Infyrin » April 17th, 2015, 5:12 am

Sigma wrote:Kindof been wondering if making a login to the chats mandatory is a death sentence to them. I think a big appeal to most of the chat users was you could just go there & chat right away. Guess it's kindof a risky tradeoff for better control over the chats though. Goodluck & hope it works out :D .


To some, yes. This would, I think, counteract the senseless spammers that could just hop on at any given time and spam. This would be their death sentence. I don't think that's really much of a risk.
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Re: Chat room changes

Postby Yoshi[NX] » April 19th, 2015, 10:55 am

easily fixed by an ip ban system that's easier to get at and mods that are there at least most of the time.
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